Date: 27th May 2023
Location: IIHS City Campus, Bangalore
The collaborative project between Fields of View and IIHS aimed to conduct the City Game and Hanigalu simulation as part of their annual festival, City Scripts. The event took place on May 26th and involved the participation of 32 individuals throughout the duration of the game.
About the City Scripts Festival
City Scripts, an annual festival organised by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (iihs), was a three-day celebration of writings that brought alive the city as seen through myriad lenses. Every year, the festival captured the essence of the city by curating a set of diverse engagements that gave us a glimpse of how cities had transformed, and how people lived changed with it.
City Scripts 2023 was the 8th edition of an event that explores various narratives about the city. It focuses on current discussions surrounding public spaces, citizen interactions, technology, and gender. The event aimed to provide a platform for authors from across the country to present their latest writings and engage with the audience.
About the City Game
The City Game is a physical game designed to understand people’s preferences when it comes to urban form. By asking participants to build their ideal city, the game collects data and provides insights into their needs and preferences. The discussions and designs produced during the game reveal participants’ ideas about the city, prominent structures, and the intended beneficiaries of the city. The City Game fosters dialogue and self-reflection, allowing participants to understand diverse perspectives.
Gameplay: In the game, people are asked to build the city they want to live in. In the discussions and the design of the city, we obtain insights into what their idea of a city is, what are the structures they see as prominent, and who their city is built for. Depending on the audience, the city built differs. There are no winners/losers like a conventional game. The game relies on the idea of ‘play’; people ‘play’ in designing the city.
Dialogue: We played the game with participants from IIHS and local communities in Bangalore. The game was conducted for a group of 16 participants who came to explore the festival. The ‘City Game’ acts as a space for self-reflection and to understand diverse perspectives. The structures built, what is not built, what is the focus on and the conversations – all these provide insights into the participants’ needs and their idea of the city. For instance, in one session of the game, the group included a child and a real-estate developer, who debated where a sewage treatment plant should be installed. The participants insisted that the playground should not be disturbed, and the developer had to understand and work with his point of view. One of the participants placed a tap as a feature in the city. In the game, usually prominent structures such as buildings, railway stations, airports, and other visible architectural features are constructed. A functioning public tap as a crucial civic structure was highlighted in the game. During the game, some participants were asked to move to another city, and their experiences provided space and context for discussions and conversations on immigration and immigrant experience.
Here is the video: https://youtube.com/shorts/kp3o5LbSWbg?si=b4HJbvTjPk0G7Ops
About the Hanigalu
Hanigalu is another tool developed to build capacity among young adults in water security planning. It is a simulation tool that explores different scenarios and trade-offs related to water security at the local level. The development of Hanigalu was prompted by the drinking water crisis in parts of Bangalore during the summer of 2019. The tool aims to engage and train young adults in understanding the aspects of water security planning. It addresses the intersection of urban governance, natural resource management, and the role of citizens in these processes. The project plans to pilot the training tool to promote citizen participation and improve water security planning.
Here is the video: https://youtube.com/shorts/Vq1apr7_ZTQ?si=6nVdhmKiz0Vf4l0b
Both the City Game and Hanigalu are innovative approaches that aim to involve citizens and generate insights into urban planning and resource management. They provide platforms for dialogue, self-reflection, and understanding diverse perspectives, ultimately contributing to better urban governance and citizen engagement.